Biratnagar, April 30
A hospital in Biratnagar turned away an expecting mother awaiting surgery upon learning that she was from Udayapur, a place that has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot lately.
Saraswoti Rauniyar of Gaighat, Udayapur was admitted to Nobel Medical College of Biratnagar for delivery on Tuesday and was supposed to undergo surgery the next day.
Following the necessary preparations, doctors had taken her to the operation theatre the following morning at about 7:00am. But after doctors in the theatre saw Udayapur mentioned as her address, they refused to operate on her and referred her to Koshi Hospital instead.
The referral ticket has also mentioned it that she has been referred because of her address.
“Taken into the operation theatre, she was turned away to another hospital by doctors after they saw Udayapur as our address,” said Saraswoti’s husband Prakash Gupta. “She was operated at Koshi Hospital yesterday and gave birth to a son.” According to the husband, they had their first child at Nobel Hospital and decided to approach the same hospital this time as well.
Dr Jeevan Dhamala and his team had conducted the operation on the woman at Koshi Hospital yesterday. “She was referred here from Nobel Hospital. We conducted an operation on her, and both the mother and baby are normal,” said Dr Dhamala.
Doctors at Koshi Hospital said they were surprised at the incident of a patient being turned away from the operation theatre without a genuine reason.
“Is it that any patient from Udayapur won’t get treatment at any private hospital?” asked a doctor, adding it was inhumane to refer someone from the operation theatre.
Meanwhile, Nobel Medical College, however, claimed that it had to refer the patient elsewhere after she was seen with a temperature. “We conduct all tests in the operation theatre before we carry out an operation. As she was then seen with fever, we referred her to Koshi Hospital,” said NMC public contact officer Narayan Dahal.
The claim, however, was contradicted by Koshi Hospital.
“She didn’t have any fever when she approached us, and we wouldn’t have operated on her in the first place if she had a temperature,” said Dr Dhamala. “In fact, even the referral ticket didn’t have any mention of a fever or something and categorically mentioned that she was referred because of her address,” he added.
It is important to note that a few days ago, another private hospital here — Birat Nursing Home — had also refused to admit a patient whose address was Udayapur.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 1, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.